This past week we saw the GOP have their time in the spotlight. For the rest of the campaign, the Republicans will not have the undivided attention of America that they had this past week. The week will not drive the Republicans to the White House, but a bad stumble could end any chance of victory. Let’s take a hard look at how the Convention went and what it means as the Republicans try to heal their wounds and unify for the fall campaign.
The day began in turmoil as the “establishment” Republicans attempted to reject the Rules Committee report that kept the Delegates bound under the previous rules to vote for the candidate that won their state. There was an attempt to change this rule in the committee, but the Trump forces turned back the challenge. The final attempt was to reject the Rules Report and take the issue to the floor. Again, the Trump forces won. The Anti-Trump coup failed. All this was done in the afternoon before the prime time coverage started.
The theme for Night One was “Make America Safe Again.” The GOP trotted out some very good speakers. Rudy Giuliani gave an inspiring speech that got every one’s heartbeat going. I haven’t seen him so fired up since he was Mayor and tore up that $10 million check from the Saudis after 9/11.
Melania Trump, the main speaker for day one, did an outstanding job. This political neophyte delivered a very good speech. Problem is the speech was partially plagiarized from Michelle Obama in 2008. This is what happens when the principals are amateurs and the staff non politicians. I do not blame Melania, but do blame the staff. Instead of owning the gaff, the Trump team tried to say it was no big deal. This is giving the Democrats ammunition to divert the Republican message for the week. I would fire the staffer, own the mistake and get Melania on the campaign trail. The media will hit her hard for a day or two, but then it will go away. Melania has shown she can be a big asset in the fall campaign.
Sherriff David Clark and the other speakers did a good job of pointing out the missteps Obama and Hillary have made.
There was a lot of hype that the anti-Trump movement might attempt to have a little protest during the roll call vote of states. None appeared. Donald Trump became the official nominee of the Republican Party. There is no question that Trump has control of this Convention. He allowed the other candidates delegates to record their votes, even though they didn’t qualify to be nominated (rules inserted by McCain and Romney at past Conventions).
Trump has broken with tradition by appearing on the first two days of the Convention. Usually the nominee arrives in the Convention city the third night of the Convention and doesn’t appear in front of the delegates until the last night.
Chris Christy gave a terrific speech that had the convention fired up. It laid out the Clinton record rather well and had the Convention audience on their feet repeatedly. Although this was not the speech Christy wanted to make, he did a good job as a loyal soldier.
The star of the evening was Donald J. Trump, Jr. This 38 year old son did a terrific job of humanizing his dad. I have to wonder, Where has this guy been? I think he is the best speaker in the family. This guy should enter politics on his own ability.
Night Two was the start of the shift toward unity in the party. Paul Ryan, Ben Carson, Chris Christy all gave speeches that helps with the unity. Night Three should continue with the unity and shift the tone toward optimism for the future.
The third night had, I think, the most fireworks of the week. Mike Pence (R-IN) gave the VP speech that introduced this man to America. Although he is not as vibrant as Donald Trump, Pence gave us a sense of who he is. He comes off as a good man, grounded in his Christian religion and conservative values.
If Pence is used as a sounding board to keep Trump grounded, then the pick of the Indiana Governor will be a huge success. He is a tremendous balancing force of the Republican ticket.
The Trump kids continued to humanize their father. As a personal note, aren’t they an amazing family? This group of young people reflect very positively on their father. The more they speak, the more positive their father will be seen by the public.
The elephant in the room (pun intended) was Ted Cruz. Ted spoke way too long (24 minutes), and pushed Mike Pence too deep into the evening. After congratulating Trump on his nomination, he really never mentioned him again. Cruz told the delegates to vote their conscience and convictions. Ted Cruz never indorsed his rival. It has been reported that the Trump team did not see Cruz’s speech until 2 hours before it was delivered. The Trump team allowed Cruz to go forward. The delegates in the room booed the former candidate after they realized what Ted was saying and not saying. As the speech wound down, Donald Trump appeared in front of the delegates to hasten Cruz’s exit, or so it seemed. I think very possibly that Ted Cruz ended his political career at this convention. I understand he scored well with Independents, but the people he will need in 2020, the Republicans, will turn their backs to him.
The final night. This is Donald Trump’s opportunity to tell America where we are going as a nation and how he will lead us.
Ivanka Trump, daughter of the nominee, did the family proud. She showed her father as a man that rewards women in his employ top management positions and equal pay to the men. She said Donald will fight for equal pay for equal work. She said he will fight for affordable day care for working women. Her target audience was young working women. This group has been told in the past that they must vote Democrat. This young women will force Hillary to fight to keep this group. She should be used as a weapon on the campaign trail.
Now it was time to listen to the man everyone was waiting for. Donald Trump took the stage and all the Cruz stuff disappeared. The nomination and party was now his. The speech Trump gave showed how Sir Donald has started a revolution in the Republican Party. The GOP is no longer the party of the wealthy and powerful. Trump’s message was for the less fortunate, the underemployed, the forgotten middle class and the youth of this great country.
Trump emphasized America’s problems. He spoke of our poor standing in the world. Our problems in the Middle East, our open borders, our poor economy, our crime. He argued that major changes in leadership is needed to steer America to a better path.
I personally did not like the delivery of the speech. Trump yelled all the way through the hour plus message. His delivery was so slow it reminded me of Hillary when she gives a speech in the Midwest, going slow so they can understand. His message was great.
The big losers of the week were Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Kasich, as host Governor, had a responsibility to welcome the delegates. All Governors should welcome the delegates, even if they are from the opposite party. Not to do so is tasteless and will not be forgotten by the Party.